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ALBANY — The state is seeking applications from manufacturers of self-driving vehicle technology for operation in New York this year when theory meets the road.

The vehicles must meet federal and state safety standards, and a licensed driver must be in the vehicle at all times. The state requires a $5 million insurance policy for each vehicle.

Manufacturers and technology companies working with manufacturers may apply for inclusion in the program through the state Department of Motor Vehicles (http://bit.ly/2pTKE4c).

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”While we all are familiar with the idea that self-driving cars will one day likely be commonplace, the reality is that there is a long road ahead before we get there,” said Terri Egan, executive deputy commissioner for the state Department of Motor Vehicles. “We need to make sure these vehicles are safely tested on our roads, while providing opportunities for the public to become familiar with this technology.”

A one-year pilot program to test and consider self-driving vehicles for use in New York was funded in the state budget passed in April.